Tea & Toast to Motherhood

mothersday17_036The inspiration for this shoot was my grandmother’s breakfast. No, really… she’s been having tea and toast for breakfast for as far back as I can remember. When Jayme of Mint Studio asked me to style a Mother’s Day tea for an upcoming paper flower workshop, Tea & Toast was what came to mind. As I thought about working with this theme I was inspired to play off of the double meaning of toast. We served some beautiful crostini that was definitely not my grandmother’s toast. I loved this modern spin on the most basic of foods though. We also toasted motherhood with a delicious tea-based cocktail. We kept the color palette ultra feminine with shades ranging from pretty pink to a deep plum.

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Loren from Four Things Paper created the most beautiful stationery inviting our guests to parTEA. She covered all the details from the coordinating envelope liner to the gorgeous calligraphy addresses and matching vintage stamps. As with the invitation, there was also lots of pink watercolor texture in the other pieces she created for the event too. The recipe card signage for the Hibiscus Tea Margarita we served was one of my favorite pieces. It was the perfect nod to the moms and grandmas that keep a box of their treasured, hand-written, family recipes.

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Andrea of Not My Dish raided her collection of vintage teacups, saucers, and serving stands for pieces that were pink, purple, and floral. I love how the mismatched sets came together to build a beautiful tablescape. The pink and purple glassware she brought was perfect for our cocktails too. Each place setting also featured a hand-painted place card along with a tiny succulent.

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While talking about blooms and motherhood with Jenna of Craft Blooms she told me that she felt inspired to use succulents in her creations. Her thought was that succulents are enduring just like the strength and resiliency required for motherhood. We agreed that we’ve both been so fortunate to have shining examples of this from the amazing women role models in our lives.

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Tania is known for her giant paper flowers and for good reason! She can build such beautiful floral creations out of paper. We incorporated some of her smaller paper blooms into our balloon garland backdrop and I loved the results of this pairing.

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Pascal Lorange put together some of the most beautiful toast I’ve ever seen. The crostini that he prepared was wonderfully colorful and of course very tasty too. For desserts, we tried to go the more traditional tea service route. We had Pastel Bakery bake some of their old-school bakeshop goodies. The simple cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream was a beautiful, and the cookies and fruit tarts were absolutely delicious.

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We took the opportunity to take generational portraits of our guests that they will hopefully value as precious family mementos. Even when we don’t necessarily feel like being photographed, I think it’s so important to document our families as we grow and age together.

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Cheers to all of the amazing moms out there!

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Concept and styling: a la Mo | Photography: Rachael Smith Photography | Event Location: Mint Studio | Paper Flowers: Tania Fischer Design | Calligraphy and Paper Goods: Four Things Paper | Event Rentals (Pink & Gold Chair + accessories): CC Vintage Rentals | Tablescape Rentals: Not My Dish | Cake and Sweets: Pastel Bakery | Flowers: Craft Blooms | Crostini: CRUDO by Pasal Lorange | Model: The Jessica Journey

 

365 Days on Earth: a First Birthday Party

I received some free or discounted product(s) in exchange for this post. I only share products that I love and all opinions are my own.

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Inspiration for parties, themes, and color palettes can come to me from anywhere. Sometimes I’ll get an idea in my head for a party and I won’t be satisfied until I make it a reality. That was the case with this 365 Days on Earth first birthday party. The idea first came to me while listening to Hullabaloo’s album, Shy Kid Blues, almost 3 years ago. Yes, that was long before my son was born, but I just knew I had to create a first birthday party theme based on Steve’s rollicking song about a year in the life entitled 365 Days on Earth (take a listen here for reference). Lucky for me, I did eventually get pregnant, give birth to a beautiful baby boy, and keep him alive for an entire year. Woohoo… party time!

Most babies probably don’t have their first birthday party theme picked out before they are born. Heck, most new parents probably aren’t thinking too far beyond the next feeding or sleepless night. I, on the other hand, could not wait to plan this party for Declan. I did wait until he was about 6 months old before I admitted to anyone else that I was already party planning though.

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I knew that I wanted the concept for this party to center around globes and to include lots of quotes directly from the song. I am fortunate to own a beautiful hand painted globe from Wild and Free Designs that fit perfectly with the theme and occasion. When I started pulling together a visual inspiration board, it became clear that I wanted to pair the globe with some modern black and white elements and maybe some hexagon patterning. I love how the blues, yellows, and greens of the globe came together with the black and white.

As with most of my events, I started off with the invitation design. Because of the unique theme, I knew I’d most likely need to design my own invitation. Luckily I discovered that Tiny Prints offers the option to upload your own invitation or card design. This discovery was great news for me! I loved being able to use my own printable design paired with all the fun options that they offer like different trims, papers, back side designs, envelope liners, pre-addressed envelopes, and personalized postage. While I was at it, I ordered some cute color-your-own kid’s Thank You cards so I was prepared after the party.

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When we first moved into our current home I was most excited about (1) the kitchen and (2) the built in shelves in the dining room. While the shelves usually house my cookbook collection and family mementos, I couldn’t help styling them especially for this party. I lined the back of the shelves with black and white striped paper before filling them with lots of fun decorations. My hand-painted globe was joined by a small collection of globes that I purchased at Cost Plus World Market. The trio of mini-globes is so cute! Photos of the birthday boy and coordinating party decor rounded out the shelf display.

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I used bold black and white stripes to set the backdrop of the dessert table. Layered on top of the stripes was a balloon garland to bring in some color. Every party needs a cake, and we had a stunning 2-tiered beauty. Jenny Wenny cakes managed to incorporate the stripes, world map, and a cool hexagon honeycomb pattern into one delicious cake. The crowning touch was a laser-cut acrylic topper boasting the theme of 365 Days on Earth. Incorporating custom cookies into my events has become a requirement for me. I’m always looking for unique ways to display the beautiful cookie creations, so this time I decided to hang them on an ornament stand. The idea was to make the Earth cookies look more like an actual globe and I love the results. NatSweets made so many fun cookie designs using my invitation design and the song lyrics. We also had some hand-painted globe gourmet apples. Roni’s Sugar Creations always takes care of the details and these apples were no exception. A little bit of glittery sparkle and pretty striped bows finished them off beautifully.

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Oversized engineering prints are one of my favorite ways to incorporate my printables into the party decor. This time I also used this product to create custom paper table runners for the guest tables. I’ve always loved the trend of the first birthday chalkboard statistics (height, weight, nickname, favorites, skills, words, etc.). I took this concept and turned all those fun facts into a unique table runner. I printed 2 on a 24″x36″ color engineering print and simply cut it down the middle to fit two tables. Blooms in yellow and white sat in the middle of both tables for the guests to enjoy.

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I love a good cake smash and I was really looking forward to seeing my son’s first taste of cake. The stage was set with some party streamers, a little ONE banner, and the same vintage wood highchair that we used for my daughter’s cake smash 5 years ago. Although I outsourced the other sweets for the party, I baked Declan’s little smash cake- banana cake with cream cheese frosting. He was pretty cautious when it came time to eat it. He seemed to like it, but I don’t think he was thrilled with all of the people watching him.

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Favors can sometimes be an afterthought for me, but this time I knew what I wanted to gift to our guests right away. It was important to me to send everyone home with some goodies from Hullabaloo since the band’s song inspired the party theme. Hullabaloo CD’s and Shy Kid Blues Coloring books were the perfect items to include from the band. I packaged them up in little black baskets from Oriental Trading and finished them off with crayons, globe punching bags, #1 balloon wands, and black and white lollipops.

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Concept, styling and stationery design: a la Mo | Photography: Stills by Hill Photography | Theme inspiration and favor coloring books and CDs: Hullabaloo Band | Invitations, thank you cards, custom napkins, photo decor: Tiny Prints | Favor packaging, tissue decorations, sunshine craft: Oriental Trading Company | Balloon Garland Kit: One Stylish Party | Declan and One Banners: Sweet Georgia Sweet | Cake Toppers and drink stirs: Jenn and Jules Designs | Cookies: NatSweets | Gourmet Apples: Roni’s Sugar Creations | Cake: Jenny Wenny Cakes | Flowers: Barney Design | The World is Yours Globe: Wild and Free Designs | Globe collection: Cost Plus World Market

 

 

 

Cerealsly Lucky | a St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Bar

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productWhy should Valentine’s Day get to have all the fun with cute puns? When I started brainstorming ideas for a St Patrick’s Day party in partnership with Oriental Trading Company, I loved a gift idea that I ran across with the pun “Cerealsly Lucky”. I couldn’t get it out of my head, so ended up creating a Cerealsly Lucky themed St. Patrick’s Day cereal bar for breakfast.

You’ll find these fun details below:

  • An easy and inexpensive backdrop using square gold paper plates.
  • Rainbow tulle pompom garlands in two different sizes.
  • Homemade and store-bought cereal displayed in glass jars with lids.
  • Printable 8×10″ Cerealsly Lucky sign that you can download for free here!
  • A rainbow of fruit toppings including freeze-dried strawberries, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, and blueberries served in clear slanted bowls with individual scoops.
  • Striped rainbow snack or ice cream cups for guests to serve thier cereal creations in. They are just the right (small) serving size so that you can go back for seconds.

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I love the idea of a cereal bar where you offer different varieties of cereal, toppings, and milk. You could set out just a few options or go all-out and get fancy with lots of offerings. My decor for this cereal bar is pretty specific to St Patrick’s Day, but I could see the punny theme working well for many different occasions. The first thing that jumps to mind is “Cerealsly Lucky in Love” for Valentine’s Day or a bridal shower brunch.

Because this setup was for St. Patrick’s Day though, I used gold, green, and rainbows in the decor. I created the gold backdrop by attaching square paper plates to my backyard fence using painters tape. Green hanging clover decorations were layered over the gold backdrop and a framed printable sign featuring my Cerealsly Lucky theme was displayed front and center. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use my tulle pompom rainbow garlands since I originally created them for this princess party. They fit the St. Patrick’s Day theme, so I was more than happy to pull them out to add to this setup.

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I know this may be unpopular, but I’ve never really liked Lucky Charms. They are adorable… I mean, it doesn’t get much cuter than miniature rainbow marshmallows. I’m just much more of a Cocoa Krispies or Cinnamon Toast Crunch kind of a girl. In reality, I don’t buy any of it because 1. I’d eat it all and 2. I don’t want my kids to know it exists! So, even though Lucky Charms would have been the obvious choice for a St Patrick’s Day cereal bar, I went with homemade peanut butter granola and crisp rice cereal.

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The cereal was just the start though! We also had a rainbow of fruit options to add into the mix. It would also be fun to offer nuts or mini chocolate chips or marshmallows.

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I hope you’ve been inspired to celebrate St. Patrick’s day in a fun, new way with your little leprechauns or even your best girlfriends. “Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.”

Styling, Printables, and Photography: Party a la Mo  | Paper Decor and Serveware: Oriental Trading Company

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New Year’s Dream Board Party

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I’m a very visual person, so for several years now I’ve been piecing together an annual vision board to sum up my dreams for the year and keep them in a prominent place. If you’ve never gone through this process, I highly recommend it. You can find some helpful tips from Bri Geeski here. To keep my board focused, I also like to work around my one little word for the year. For 2017, I wanted to share the experience of creating my vision board with a few of the creative ladies that I’m lucky to have in my life. I arranged this New Year’s Dream Board Party for 6 of us to get together and plan for the year ahead. We chose our words, crafted our dream boards, and had so much fun in the process. As it turns out, we all agreed that it was a very relaxing experience. It was an opportunity to take a break from all of the holiday stress, focus on our selves, and have a little time with the girls.

My one word for 2017 is CREATE. I want to create art, opportunities, healthy habits, and strong relationships. I want to create a life I love, and the only person responsible for doing that is me! I feel like this word will empower me to make some important changes in my life. Other words that the guests chose were shine, happy, love, family, and dream.

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Each guest got a notebook to write down their thoughts about their word and the focus of their dream board. I had 16×20″ framed corkboards available for everyone to use too. I asked them to bring any items or photos from home that they knew they wanted to include on their boards. We went through piles of magazines looking for inspiring images and words to use. My family’s holiday photo card was a big inspiration for the party decor and I also put it right in the middle of my board. We are sending out New Years cards this year, so that worked out perfectly. Everything I do is for that family, so it’s important to me to put them right in the center of the dreams that I have for my future.

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The event took place at The Mint Studio, a beautiful local spot for gathering and crafting. I don’t like to do things in a small way, so we had lots of pretty details to make the morning memorable. Don’t miss these highlights:

⁃ Colorful Balloon Garland that I put together using a kit that included everything needed. Simple to assemble and such a big visual impact.
⁃ Gorgeous food that we all really enjoyed. I adore the vibrant colors of that golden beet carpaccio. Yum!
⁃ Acrylic blocks with designs featuring the 2017 words of the year. Another beautiful reminder to stay focused on what’s important.
⁃ Bright floral arrangements featuring pomegranates and mandarin oranges.
⁃ Drink stirs that were personalized with each guest’s name.
⁃ Dessert! Custom cookies featured our chosen words and the cake tasted as good as it looks.

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I wish you and yours a beautiful 2017! Thanks for following along with my creative journey.

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Venue: Mint Studio | Styling: Party a la Mo  | Photography: Sarah Tolson Photography | Acrylic blocks, notebooks and New Years cards: Tiny Prints  | Food: Crudo by Pascal Lorange  | Cake: Jenny Wenny Cakes | Cookies: Southern Belle Specialties  | Floral Design: Blooming to Inspire | Balloon Garland: One Stylish Party | Cake topper and drink stirs: Jenn and Jules Designs | Candyfetti: Sweets Indeed | Guests: Katie of Just Add Sunshine, Phyllis of Phyllis Sa Design, Jayme of The Mint Studio, Jen of Jen Pacella Design

 

Oh Baby Sprinkle

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Styling events is such a passion of mine that I asked the hostesses of my own Sprinkle if I could be a little more involved than a guest of honor normally would be. I took some of the pressure off of them as far as the décor was concerned and they were able to focus on important details like food and entertainment. Regardless of how it all came together, we had a beautiful afternoon celebrating the upcoming birth of my second baby. I felt very loved and grateful for all the support I had as we prepared to meet our new little boy.

The watercolor elements seen throughout the sprinkle décor were inspired by the beautiful Oh Baby invitations designed by Lady Jae Designs for Tiny Prints. Working with the color palette of sea glass green and gray was an effective way to carry the simple theme from the tablescape, to the florals, to the desserts.

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Although I am an amateur painter at best, I attempted to create several of the watercolor items myself including the backdrop to the dessert table, painted paper fans, dip-dyed cloth napkins, and the circle garlands. It turns out that abstract watercolor painting is very relaxing for me and I really enjoyed it. The Oh Baby photo display included some more watercolor painting along with b&w photos of babies from many generations of both sides of our family. Perhaps those family photos gave the guests a glimpse of what our baby boy would look like.

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Sweets are always a big part of designing an event for me. The dessert table for the sprinkle boasted a gorgeous, 2-tiered watercolor cake with white wafer paper roses. Little details can make such a big impact and I loved having the “Oh Boy!” engraved cake server and personalized napkins right by the cake. Hand-painted macarons and passion fruit cream tarts adorned with white chocolate pearls rounded out the sweet nibbles. Also, I can’t forget the monogrammed sugar cookies that served as edible place cards for each table setting. Function and beauty at their best!

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One of my favorite elements at the sprinkle was the framed watercolor “You Are Loved By Me” painting that was lovingly created by my friend Mollie of The Prints and the Pea. The quote is shortened from a song written by a favorite children’s band of our family called Hullabaloo. The simple lyrics to the song can be summed up by, “You are good, you are strong, and you are loved by me”. Such a beautiful sentiment that I think all children should hear and believe about themselves.

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Vendor Credits:

Décor and Styling – Party a la Mo  | Photography – Stills by Hill Photography | Cake – Hey There, Cupcake! | Decorated Cookies – NatSweets  | Macarons and Tartlettes – Jenny Wenny Cakes | Stationery and Home Décor – Tiny Prints | Dish Rental and Tablescape Design – Not My Dish | “You Are Loved by Me” Watercolor Painting – The Prints and the Pea | Florals – The Tiny Bloom | Engraved Cake Server/Baby Flatware – Sarmon Designs  | Oh Baby Balloon Garland – Studio Pep | 24” Balloon – Betsy White Stationery

 

A Joyful Holiday Preparation Party

Holiday Preparation Party_13I absolutely love the tradition of sending out and receiving holiday cards. The popularity of family photo cards has made the receiving part even more exciting for me. Sometimes sending cards out has been a bit of a challenge for me though. The holiday season is such a busy time for everyone and sometimes December flies by so quickly that there is no time to get a card ordered and mailed out by Christmas. We sent New Years cards out one year and last year I never got a card out to friends and family at all.

My Holiday Preparation Party is all about putting the fun back into getting ready for the holidays. Tasks like the aforementioned holiday cards don’t have to be stressful. Gather a few friends and get to work early before the holidays get a jump on you. This year the Christmas cards will actually be addressed and mailed in time, the advent calendar will be ready on December 1st, and I’ll even have a few crafts completed for our home décor. The best part is that I got it all done while having fun with friends!

We kept the event small so that we’d have the time and space to get everything accomplished without it becoming too chaotic. I’d recommend inviting 2-4 of your close friends or family members. Tell them to bring along their holiday cards, address list, advent calendar supplies, and anything else they need to work on to prepare for the upcoming season. When you send out your invitations, you can also send a reminder to order holiday cards so that they’ll arrive in time for your party.

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Projects that we worked on during the party include:

  • Assembling and Addressing Holiday Cards: The envelope liners have been inserted, the cards have been stuffed, and the envelopes have been addressed and stamped! I had supplies on hand for everyone to use including fun pens, stamps, envelope sealers, foil seals, and extra postage stamps. It’s such a relief to have all of this done ahead of time this year.
  • Advent Calendar Prep: Our family has a Christmas book advent calendar where my daughter will unwrap a book each day that we then read together. Over the past few years I’ve collected 24 holiday-themed books from library book sales, thrift stores, and even some leftover from my childhood. Now they are all wrapped and ready to pull out when December rolls around. The personalized wrapping paper is optional, but such a nice touch.
  • Holiday Tassel Garlands: The Flair Exchange has ready-to-assemble tassel garland kits that are perfect for the holidays. Even your less-than-crafty friends can easily make a beautiful garland for their fireplace mantle or wall.
  • Easy Ornament Craft: Stuffing sparkly craft pom-poms into clear glass ball ornaments is a quick way to make a beautiful bauble for your tree. This is also an excellent craft to keep little ones busy if they’ll be around.

While we worked, we snacked on some easy-to-prepare appetizers, beautiful cookies, and gingerbread donuts. Sips included sparkling wine and a hot cocoa bar complete with sprinkle-rimmed cups.

It’s hard to pick favorites, but some of my favorite details were:

  • The Merry and Bright canvas studded with tiny white twinkle lights
  • Gorgeous flowers with painted gold succulent detail
  • Balloon-dipped champagne glasses
  • Garlands! The 3D globe and Christmas bulb garlands are such a great way to bring color into your décor for the holidays.

I hope you enjoy browsing through the merry and bright details below.

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I provided canvas bags for guests to take home their cards and crafts. What a fantastic start to the most wonderful time of the year!

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Vendor Credits

Styling and Printable Designs: Party a la Mo | Photography: Maria Healey Photography | Event Space: The Bash! Boutique | Floral Design: Dinah’s Floral Studio | Tassel Garlands and Confetti: The Flair Exchange | Holiday Cards and Home Décor: Tiny Prints | Cookies: Sugar Cravings | Custom Plates: Create UR Plate | 3D Pom Pom Paper Garland: Scissor Belle Garland | Makeup: Tres Belle

Rustic Pink Bridal Shower

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Shades of pink, pretty florals, and burlap dominate the decor in this Rustic Pink Bridal Shower. This post has lots of lovely inspiration for a bride that’s a little bit country. When I saw that our guest of honor showed up wearing the most amazing pink cowboy boots, I knew that her family had chosen the absolute perfect theme for her.

As you’re browsing through the photos below, be sure to notice some of my favorite elements from the shower:

  • Traditional tissue poms were mixed with handmade doily poms and a fun eyelet version. Create the eyelet look by using a hole punch on the ends of your folded tissue poms to create a pattern before you unfold and fluff them.
  • Small bales of hay made perfect risers for the food display on the table.
  • Custom printables really carried the theme throughout the party. Everything from the welcome sign at the entrance to the game cards for our version of “who knows the couple best?” was perfectly coordinated.
  • Pink burlap was a no-brainer for the handmade “Miss to Mrs.” glitter banner.
  • Guests went home with favors of EOS lip balms in shades of pink, of course. We wrapped them up in tulle and tied them with ribbon and a tag that said “Kisses from the Bride-to-Be”.

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Vendor Credits

Party Styling, Printables, burlap glitter banner, and papel picado banner: Party a la Mo

Marine Life Baby Shower

Marine Life Baby Shower Collage

Designing a baby shower inspired by the nursery decor makes perfect sense. The theme for the baby’s room is clearly one that the mom-to-be already adores and the shower decor can easily double as nursery decor after the event. When a client is willing to invest in a beautiful baby shower, I want them to be able to reuse as much of the party decor as possible. Choosing decorations that serve a dual purpose avoids the waste that can be common with over-the-top events. Sticking to pretty, but practical, party decor makes it easy to transition it into its second life in the home.

This Marine Life baby shower was inspired by the Marine Queen crib bedding that the parents chose from The Land of Nod. I was aiming for an under-the-sea vibe that wasn’t too juvenile and I wanted a feminine look without being too pink and frilly. The basic color palette of light and dark aqua along with coral pink was rounded out by grey, purple, and golden yellow.

Some of my favorite highlights of the shower-to-nursery decor include:

  • DIY paper lantern jellyfish will hang from the ceiling in the corner of the nursery.
  • A personalized “Let’s Snuggle” pillow from Tiny Prints kept the mom-to-be comfy while she opened gifts and will look beautiful in the rocker at home.
  • A clothesline garland was a darling backdrop for the food table at the shower. I chose outfits that were fitting because of their colors and the beach/ocean theme of the shower. Of course the tiny clothes will also look adorable on the baby when she arrives.
  • The cupcake tower was topped with a “twinkle, twinkle little starfish” curved glass print that will be a special addition to a shelf in the baby’s room.
  • Tissue tassel garlands are popular party and home decor these days. The one we used from The Flair Exchange will look great hanging up behind the crib.

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Four of the tissue tassels from the garland did wonders for brightening up this adorable 24″ Hello Little One balloon from Betsywhite Stationery.

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We asked guests to leave their wishes for the baby on sheets of a personalized notepad for our Message in a Bottle guest book activity. When complete, they rolled the paper up, secured it with Washi tape, and placed it in the glass bottle for the parents to give to their daughter at some point in the future.

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Message in a bottle baby shower guest book

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My hope is always that you enjoyed the details and are inspired for your next event. If you loved this party please share it and Pin your favorite images for later.

Vendor Credits:

Party Styling, Party Printables, Photography: Party a la Mo

Tassel Garland: The Flair Exchange

Home Décor Products: Tiny Prints

Decorated Cookies: NatSweets

Hello Little One 24″ balloon and cocktail napkins: Betsywhite Stationery

 

 

 

Super Friends: a 4th Birthday Party

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My baby turned FOUR! I’m trying really hard to spare you the typical cliches about how quickly time goes, but I just can’t resist. Where has the time gone? How did 4 years, during which the days were sometimes impossibly long, disappear so fast? From what I hear from veteran parents the next 14 years will fly by at the same rate. All I can do is soak up the special and ordinary moments while enjoying each stage. Having a four year old has been pretty awesome so far and I can’t wait to see what the year brings for growth, learning, and adventures.

Our house is all princess almost all of the time, so imagine my excitement when my daughter started showing some interest in super heroes (Wonder Woman in particular). Nothing against princesses, but I loved this new focus on strong characters with confidence and unique abilities. I encouraged her to choose a super hero theme for her birthday party and was so happy that she was into the idea. We celebrated Callie’s big birthday with a Super Friends party complete with capes, masks, and a super hero training course.

There are so many fun details and I want to share them all with you. I hope you’re inspired as you browse through the photos and read more about this super hero party below.

Some elements you won’t want to miss as you scroll through the pictures are:

  • The custom wrapping paper from Tiny Prints that I used to wrap existing artwork on the walls. I love how this carried the theme through the house in an unexpected way.
  • Oversized (3′ x 4′) coloring sheet created with an inexpensive engineering print.
  • My printable designs on personalized plates from Create UR Plate for each of the Super Friends in attendance.
  • DIY T-shirt Capes
  • Custom fabric crown, cuffs, and ribbon for the birthday girl from Shawna Brockmeier Styled Events
  • Project poster board cityscape backdrop on the dessert table. “Gotham City” never looked so bright and pretty.
  • Gorgeous cookies! In my humble opinion, no dessert table is complete without pretty cookies and NatSweets outdid herself with these beauties.

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Its a bird… it’s a plane… it’s SUPER CALLIE!!

Big hugs and a huge thank you go out to all of my awesome vendors for helping make my vision for this party a reality. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Vendor Credits:

Party Styling, Party Printables, Glitter Banner, Cupcake Toppers: Party a la Mo

Photography: Stills by Hill Photography

Personalized Plates: Create UR Plate

4 Canvas Print, Personalized Pillows, Gift Tag Stickers, Custom Wrapping Paper: Tiny Prints

Custom Fabric Crown, Cuffs, and Ribbon: Shawna Brockmeier Styled Events

Fondant Cake Topper: Jenny Wenny Cakes

Decorated Cookies: NatSweets

Covered Oreos: Roni’s Sugar Creations

Candy Kabobs: Sweets Indeed

Balloon Wands and Mini Shield Pinatas: Handcrafted Parties

Gymnastics Course: Superstar Gymnastics

Taco Bill’s 40th Fiesta

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My husband had just one little request for his 40th birthday… he wanted tacos! Sounds so simple, but of course I had to take it a step further and create a party theme around his favorite food. It seemed only fitting since he has even dressed up as a taco for Halloween several times. He’s taken it to the point that he’s actually known as Taco Bill in some circles. And so, the concept for Taco Bill’s 40th Fiesta was born.

I am always a big fan of hiring a professional photographer for important events like this one. If I didn’t hire someone I’d be stressing about documenting everything and forget to enjoy the party and my guests. We were fortunate to have Sarah Tolson join us to capture the decor details and people who came to celebrate this milestone birthday with us. She gets the credit for all of the beautiful images on this post.

We hosted a family friendly outdoor fiesta that was filled with bright colors, delicious Mexican food, and DIY touches. My personal favorite decor elements were the custom papel picado banner and the taco piñata that I crafted using this amazing tutorial from Studio DIY. I also made dozens of basic tissue paper flowers and arranged them in empty salsa cans to use a centerpieces.

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Our attempt at a photo both was mostly spoiled by wind thrashing around the backdrop and tissue paper fringe garland. Oh, the perils of hosting a party outdoors. At least we really lucked out and had gorgeous weather besides the annoying wind.

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With a theme like tacos, I have to talk about the food! We catered a few kinds of tacos along with all of the usual fixings. You can’t have a fiesta without margaritas, so we mixed up a big (strong) batch to offer along with beer and other non-alcoholic drinks. The Mexican fruit cups were inspired by my favorite appetizer at Puesto, the Mexican Street Bowl. I pre-packed spears of mango, pineapple, watermelon, jicama, and cucumbers in cups and let the guests add their own lime, chili, salt, and hot sauce. We also served chili spiced dried mango to go with the fruit cups.

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For dessert I baked one of my favorite kinds of cupcakes… vanilla cake with lime zest topped with lime cream cheese frosting and rolled in flakes of sweetened coconut. The teeny, tiny taco cupcake toppers were so adorable (if I do say so myself). They are made out of fondant, Oreos, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and coconut threads. I love how they turned out and they were a huge hit with the party goers.

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Sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone. I had not planned on having a favor for this party, but I had an idea and I couldn’t resist making it happen. At the last minute I decided that we needed taco seasoning favors. One Costco run later, I had the supplies to mix up a giant batch of Joy the Baker’s taco seasoning. When it was packed up in cello bags the taco seasoning made a great (and hopefully useful) favor for our guests to take home.

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A lot of our friends have young kids, so I planned a few activities for them to keep them occupied. We had the tables covered in white paper with crayons out for drawing, but I also made these coloring sheets featuring the birthday boy using Crayola Story Studio. Taco Bill himself is pictured below for comparison purposes.

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The parties I usually work on are for young kids or baby and bridal showers, so it was fun to plan a grown-up party for a guy… especially since it was my guy. Happy Birthday, Honey. Cheers to the next 40 years!

Vendor Credits

Party Styling, Printables, and papel picado banner: Party a la Mo | Photography: Sarah Tolson Photography